I have a three year old who is the most loving, sweet, stubborn, caring, and emotionally volatile child I know. He can go from happy to freak out screaming fits if you tear a small piece off his sandwich or if a stick breaks. For the first three years of his life, he would cry for five minutes every time I left him at the gym. In fact, he still does this about once every ten days. And he not only cries, he screams/cries in a very high pitch. It is insane and drives me crazy.
To be clear, I hate criers. Yet I have always been surrounded by them from friends to guys I dated to my kids. I don't understand it, I want to shout, "HOLD IT TOGETHER!!!" Maybe I scoffed at some of the guys I dated, and sometimes I will tell Squirt to grow up, but I can't really do that with the Baby Hulk. Yesterday was a particularly hard day for him and his hysteria was in high gear. And I had a lot to do, some that could wait like blog reading and folding clothes and others that were more important like getting food for the rest of the family. But something told me as he was crying at my legs to stop and just hold him. It didn't make him stop crying, but he did hold on for dear life. I managed to get food for the rest of the family and we sat and hugged. Finally, he calmed down enough to sit and eat. All day long he kept wanting me to hold him and hug him.
Later, when I did have the chance to read a blog, I read the following: "Embrace him. He is empty and unsure of your permanence, for whatever reason, and the more you resist, the more unsure he gets. The more unsure he gets, the more he will cling. Embrace him every time he wants you to, for as long as he wants you to. Don't let go until he does. Eventually he will."
What amazing advice and one that is particularly hard for me to always follow. I am so glad I found that quote yesterday because I would have been very tempted to stop the hugs after an hour or so. I have to remember that regardless of what I want to do, my children's needs come first. There is nothing wrong with making my arms their safe haven. Even if it means I have loads of laundry to finish after they go to bed.